My best Safari trip was an exciting day trip to Etosha accompanied with a once in a lifetime experience: a night game drive where I saw the Leopard. This stubborn cat had been hiding for a long time and I was super happy to see it finally.
Arriving in Etosha
Arriving in Etosha was obvious – the area had big gates and immediately after entering I knew I was in a National Park. The scenery was never ending, and luckily there were no other cars in sight. I visited Etosha during the dry season in late September, so the landscape was pretty brown, if not gray even. There was very little green, and even less water. The famous Etosha Pan lake was nearly dry. Visiting big national parks during the dry season is actually smart because there are no bushes and very little grass. Therefore, the animals are much easier to spot. They also tend to gather around waterholes as the water is not available elsewhere.
We did not drive long when I had already seen a family of giraffes with their young, many antelopes, and also elephants crossing the road in front of us. Jackals were hanging out close to the road, searching for morning snacks.
Later on in the afternoon, we found what we were looking for – a pack of lions with one male and five huge females. They were resting under the shadow of a small bush. One female was walking around, probably looking for prey.
Night-time Game Drive
The night game drive in Etosha was a great experience! We were lucky and saw both Leopards and Cheetahs in search for food. These shy and sensitive cats are most active during the night. We even got lucky enough to see a leopard launch after an unfortunate antelope. The killing itself happened further off in the distance – but maybe it was something I didn’t actually want to see, anyway. The African night is exciting. It is quiet all around, except for the animals approaching the waterhole like elephants, or the roars of lions in the distance. The night sky is almost always clear and shows the stars and the moon clearly and brightly. This view and the atmosphere are one of a kind!
The night in Etosha was surprisingly cold. I quickly learned what things to bring if you are going on a safari and that list includes long sleeves and jackets! Of course, I needed many memory cards for my camera, too, but that’s a different story!